Poetry (English)

A Red Layer

A red layer I see,
As I close the eyes
And on closing them tight,
It turns into thick brown.
What is the use then,
What is the use!
Closed eyes fail to blacken
What open eyes show.

I see layers of red,
Red turning to thick brown.
Where flowers once adorned the garden,
Now are drops of red.
The breeze is flowing the same
But the sweet fragrance of jasmine
Is now mixed
With rusty iron smell.

My hands I dread.
They are both,
Smeared and scarred.
How can I sit here and condemn,
Without playing a part?
I am victim.
I am convict.
But I wish to play none role.
Can I just sit here in sun
And let it’s warmth seep in my soul?
Oh! but I fail, I fail,
For as I close the eyes
I see a layer of red.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Short Prose

A Withered Flower

She had not seen her for the past two years. Two years, such a long time. It passed like two centuries, in a jiff. Each minute burdened her soul and months passed unnoticed. The nights refused to pass and days kept sliding. Flowers withered and fell and withered. Dogs wailed and sighed and wailed. She had not seen her for the past two years. Two years and her anklets tinkled in the empty room. Hands waved in front of the white mirror, but it reflected only white walls, the walls which refused to scream. They were silent. Silent as a deserted house. She lived in a house, longing for a home. Two years and her arms ached to carry a beating heart.

The milk she had kept for boiling, over the gas-stove, rises and rises and flows down all over. The smell reaches her through the passage. It makes her feel nauseated. She had never liked this smell. Was it because of this disgust of boiled milk’s smell that her breasts are dry? But she loved to drink milk. Her daughter would have loved it too. Why was she snatched away from her? She was not dead. She herself had felt her little heart, rising and falling with each breath. Yes, she was not dead. But they, they never listened to her. They told her that her flower was withered and they buried it under the ground. She stood up, untied the anklets from her feet and threw them negligently over the table, where they  failed to land. Lost in another world, she blindly moved towards the kitchen, through the hall. It was empty, like the rest of the house, but she moved with such an effort as if she was making her way through loads of stuff. The more she tried to remove them from her way, the more they blocked her passage.

She felt a wetness touch her feet. She looked down, and a silent scream choked her throat. The white tiled-floor was all covered with blood, red human blood, and it was making her feel nauseated. She felt sick. Her eyes followed the course of blood, but what she saw was more than she could ever take. On the gas stove, in her own kitchen, boiling in a black rusted pot, was her daughter – formless, featureless, only a piece of flesh – boiling. From it were flowing  bloodstreams, ceaselessly through her entire house, painting the white walls red, making her house a home. The silent room echoed laughter, laughter of hundreds of masked doctors. They had once snatched her baby, she won’t let them do it again. She ran towards the pot and in the hot boiling blood, which had now turned black, inserted both her hands.

Her baby. Her baby was now in her arms, she kept it on her breast and felt her warm heart melting. For the first time in two years, a teardrop fell out of her eyes. She had screamed and kicked and yelled, when they had snatched her two years back. She wanted to cry but tears never showed up. She thought her heart was stone, but today the stone melted. She wept and sang and smiled and the whole house, which was silent for the past two years, echoed her voices and rejoiced. She kissed the flesh, again and again all over, till she started recognising her baby’s features, her little face, hands and feet. It was the happiest day of her life. She wanted to dance. She will dance. She ran to get her anklets. She bowed down to pick them up from the floor, but the beads had scattered. The music had stopped.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Poetry (Hindi-Urdu)

पशेमां सी इक लड़की

पशेमां सी इक लड़की
किसी क़ब्र किनारे बैठी है
आहिस्ता आहिस्ता
बंद धड़कनों को सुनती है
तदबीरें सब खो सी गई हैं
मुनसिफ एक मुनाफ़िक़ है
सारी ज़मीं ही मक़्तल है
अब कौन यहां पर हाफिज है
दाइम कर्ब-ए-मुसलसल है
खुशियों की ख़लल है कभी-कभी
सिसकियां जनाब यहां हैं ख़ू
बरसों से दफ़्न ताइर-ए-सुकून

© Muntazir
Picture Credit